Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - The modernization and expansion of Puerto Vallarta's maritime terminal is moving right along with the January 28 inauguration of the new cruise passenger welcome center, "Los Alambiques," and the "Hacienda Tequilera" shopping center.
This is the second phase of a three-part plan to completely rebuild the city's API Maritime Terminal, which the Jalisco State Tourism Secretary announced at the 22nd Florida-Carribean Cruise Association Conference held in Cozumel in 2015.
The new Puerto Mágico terminal, a multi-use site that will serve as a commercial and cultural hub that caters to tourists and locals alike, is part of Mexico's 2019-2024 National Development Plan, and is backed by local investors in order "to minimize the use of public resources and create better paid jobs."
The first phase of the Puerto Mágico project was an installation for local tourist boats and a bus and public transportation lobby, which were completed in 2018. The newly constructed welcome and shopping centers, which were funded by a private investment of $16 million USD, are expected to be fully operational in May 2020, and create 821 direct and 3,284 indirect jobs in the region.
The "Los Alambiques" welcome center consists of three buildings resembling the historic tequila haciendas and sugar mills of the state of Jalisco, which will house a duty-free shop, offices for local authorities and for Customs and Border Control.
The "Hacienda Tequilera" shopping center will offer more than just tequila. It will be home to a variety of shops offering other regional products. The mall will also feature cultural presentations and other entertainment for cruise passengers, crew members and other nautical tourists. In addition to offering novel experiences to tourists arriving in Puerto Vallarta by cruise ship, the Hacienda will be accessible to the local community - the first port to do so in Mexico.
Once completed, Puerto Mágico will not only increase cruise ship companies' interest in sailing to Puerto Vallarta, but will also be a world-class commercial, cultural and entertainment development designed to meet the needs of both tourists and residents.
The modernized port will feature traditional Mexican and Jalisco cultural presentations, such as dance, Mariachi and other performances; tequila and chocolate museums; several restaurants and 76 stores, including Diamonds International and local artisan jewelry stores, clothing boutiques and accessories shops, among others.
Officials estimate that 4.8 million people will check out the new cruise terminal and its attractions annually, increasing the economic impact of cruise ship passengers and crews, and air-based visitors who use the terminal as the jumping off point for the many water-based tours in Puerto Vallarta.
Sources: puertovallarta.gob.mx • Travel Pulse • Cruise Industry News